Open Farm Weekend!

Even though I have spent the last 10 years in a housing development, my heart will always be in the country!  I love everything about the country!  Fresh air, hedge rows, freshly cut grass and the smell of dung!!!

My childhood was spent outside and Caroline and I both believe that a lot of memories are made outside!  God has created a beautiful world for us all to enjoy, but our technology driven age forces us inside so much of the time!

This weekend we were gifted with amazing weather, so on Saturday we thought we would take advantage of the NI Open Farm Weekend.  Farmers all over Northern Ireland allowed us to have a nosey at what sets us apart from a lot of other countries i.e. the ability to produce amazing food right on our doorstep!

So, on Saturday morning we headed to Blackberry Hill Farm just outside Lawrencetown, Banbridge.  For the girls, it was an absolutely treat.  Chicks, ducklings, calves and horses!!  Simple, but memory making!  They got to hold the chicks, talk to the calves and feed the horse!  They were so excited.

Photo 2223 Photo 2231Farmer Harry McGaffin gave us a very educational tour about the breeding of the cattle.  For Caroline and I this was very interesting.  Maybe not so much for Poppy and Heidi! LOL!  Oh yeah!  We all got a free burger which was fab!

So, after a couple of hours of fun with the animals we headed towards home and stopped off at the Armagh Cider Company.  First up was an apple pealing competition which definitely brought out the competitive side of me!  The aim was to get the longest continuous piece of apple peal.  I maxed out at 69cm (pretty impressive I thought).  This was the record for a good part of our stay. I reckon the 96cm which beat me was from a cooking apple!  Just saying!

The girls then got to press the peeled apple into fresh apple juice which they were very excited about!  After a tour of the apple juice/cider production room and a tractor journey through the orchard we embarked on a very excited indoor (find pictures of fruit and veg) and outdoor (find pictures of animals) treasure hunt!!

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With ‘selfies’ being the cool thing to do at the moment, we were challenged to do a ‘felfie’ (a farm based selfie)!  Being the first to complete such a task, Caroline and I where given an ‘Armagh Cider’ T-shirt!!!

Open Farm Weekend

Amongst other stalls was an observatory bee hive which the girls where fascinated by!  They got to try the honey which was a real treat as they both love honey on their porridge!

Open Farm Weekend

So, as you can see it was a fun filled Saturday!  We need to support local produce!  For so many reasons its the best for us all!  Cows grazing on fresh green pastures!  Hens pecking on open ground!  Whats not to like about it!?

Go on!  Support local!  You will be better of for it (and so will the farmers who dedicate so much of their life to it)!

PS.  Excuse the bad photos!  iPhone was the only tool I had! 🙂